When we lived out of the country, our Christmas’s were quiet, too quite. I yearned for a full house, tables of food, family all around. I’m a hostess, any major holiday and I’m on it, I live for these things. So this christmas, just like the last two, we’re hosting christmas dinner at our house. Its a bit smaller this year only having 6 adults and two children. But like always I will go completely over the top. Its not christmas without enough food to feed a small army is it?!
So every year, around about two weeks before Christmas I get out my notepad and jot down the menu for the day, then I write down my christmas food shopping list, aswell as timing for food to be prepared and cooked on the day. It makes it so much easier when I know what I need to be doing and when, it also means I can spend as much time enjoying the festivities with everyone else.
I thought I’d share my menu and prep list so if your hosting christmas this year, maybe for the first time and have no idea how you’ll organise everything, it might make it just that little bit easier.
So first up, here’s my menu.
sausage meat stuffing
roasted carrots & parsnips
Rocky road christmas pudding
real christmas pudding with clotted cream
boston cream cupcakes.
I’m a dessert lover (just incase you didn’t get that from the list above) and every year I like to fill the table with an array of desserts once dinner has been cleared up. I always end up with loads left over, but then i’ll do my rounds to the neighbours, passing over left over treats. Also I know there are NO fruit based desserts on this menu, again I’ve learnt from years passed, they barely get touched, we’re a family of chocolate lovers.
Now i’ve decided on my menu, its time to plan and write down my list of timings for both the prep and the cooking. I’ve learnt that if I dont plan correctly or over pack my menu I will be in the kitchen for days before (Christmas 2013 I was in the kitchen for 2 days prior and pretty much all of christmas day)
So starting with the earliest. Things that can be prepared well in advanced.
The morning of Christmas eve:
- Make the Rocky road christmas pudding and leave in the fridge to set (I’ll have a recipe for this up on the blog on Weds)
- Make the shortbread & caramel part of the millionaires shortbread. (leave on the side, covered)
- Make the cupcakes & creme pattiseier for the boston cream cupcakes (leave the cupcakes to cool, cover the crem pat & chill in the fridge)
I always make sure i’m completely free from at least 4-7pm on Christmas eve, this is our family time, Once the kids are tucked up in bed I’ll finish food prep before setting up the living room for christmas day morning.
Christmas eve evening:
- Add the chocolate topping to the millionaires shortbread. (cover and set aside)
- Peel the potatoes (pop them in a water filled bowl or tupperware dish and leave in the fridge until needed)
- prepare the sausage meat stuffing. (Set in a loaf tin, cover with foil and pop in the fridge)
- Prepare the turkey. (again cover with foil and put it into the fridge)
9am – Put the turkey in the oven.
12pm – Prep the carrots and parsnips (place in a baking tray & set aside), prep the broccoli and put in a pan, same with the brussel sprouts.
1pm – Make up the yorkshire pudding batter (leave in the fridge until needed)
1:15 – combine the cupcakes & creme pat (set aside for choclate topping later)
1:30 – part boil the potatoes.
1:50 – put the potatoes in the oven to roast.
2pm – Put the carrots & parnips in to roast
2:15 – Put the stuffing in the oven.
2:20 – Put the oiled yorkshire pudding tray in the oven.
2:30 – Pop the yorkshire puddings mixture in the tray and back in the oven.
2:35 – Brussel sprouts on to boil
2:45 – Broccoli on, Take out the turkey ( set on the serving platter, cover with foil)
2:50 – Gravy!
3pm – DINNER TIME! ( The Turkey, stuffing, gravy & yorkshire puddings are set on the table, everything else is pre plated up, my table isnt big enough for a serve yourself style dinner)
4pm- After dinner is finished and the table cleared, prepare the dessert table. Cover the rocky road christmas pudding with melted white chocoate & top the boston cream cupcakes with melted milk chocolate. Invite everyone in for the traditional lighting of the normal christmas pudding before helping themselves to everything else.
4:30pm – Grab three bottles of wine & lock myself in the bathroom for the rest of the evening. Ha. Just kidding, but with everyone fed, I’ll sit, I’ll drink, I’ll congratulate myself on another successfull Christmas dinner and enjoy the festivities with everyone else.
*Quick note, I have a double oven, this makes it so much easier to have everything in. If you’ve got a single oven, you’ll have to do some juggling.*
Hosting Christmas dinner is not for the faint hearted. Of course you can cut out a ton of those steps by buying pre-made desserts & frozen potatoes, yorkshire puddings ect. But Its christmas, its only one day of the year and if your like me this beautiful day of food, family and festivities only deserves the best.
So deep breaths, get your lists made up and remember YOU CAN DO THIS!
The little woman pretends.